Tonight at WWE Worlds Collide: NXT vs. NXT UK, the warring factions collide as NXT UK’s powerhouse Imperium takes on NXT’s golden stable, Undisputed Era in the main event of the show! Plus, Rhea Ripley defends the NXT Women’s Championship against Toni Storm in a rematch from their NXT UK days and the NXT Cruiserweight Championship is on the line in a Fatal 4-Way. All that and more tonight at WWE Worlds Collide!

The pre-show is LIVE from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. Charly Caruso, Sam Roberts, and Andy Shepherd are the hosts. Tom Phillips and Nigel McGuinness have the call for tonight.

Mia Yim vs. Kay Lee Ray

Yim drops Ray right out of the gate and stomps her in the corner. Corner cannonball gets a nearfall. Ray kicks away and slaps Yim. Yim smiles and fires up with chops and a hurricanrana. Ray with a forearm, but Yim trips for a dropkick nearfall. Ray grabs a tornado DDT for a nearfall. Front suplex gets another and Ray goes to a neck crank. Ray chops Yim in the corner. Yim chops back, but Ray with a superkick for a nearfall. Swanton misses for Ray and Yim starts the comeback. DDT for a nearfall by Yim. Back bodydrop from Yim sends Ray outside for a suicide dive. Ray knocks Yim off the apron with a superkick and a Swanton off the top lands. Ray and Yim exchange strikes in the middle of the ring and a Gory Bomb from Ray turned into a Code Blue from Yim for a nearfall. Yim goes for Eat Defeat, but Ray counters to an Eat Defeat of her own for a nearfall. Hurricanrana from Ray turned into a Yim powerbomb for a nearfall. Code Blue from Yim gets another nearfall. Ray favors her neck and they exchange in a pinning predicament, with Ray stacking with a handful of tights and another hand on the top rope.

Winner by pinfall: Kay Lee Ray

Rating: 2.75 out of 5 stars

Good start to the show. Ray surviving two Destroyers and nearly falling off the final cover sort of stalled the momentum that they had built going into the finish, but it didn’t kill the high-impact build to the end.

Video package and the main card is LIVE!

Finn Balor vs. Ilja Dragunov

 

Ilja surprises Balor. Photo: WWE.

 

Dragunov with the waistlock and Balor to the armbar as they start to feel each other out with submissions. Side headlocks exchanged to a stalemate and Dragunov gives Balor the “bring it” gesture. Balor poses and Dragunov chops the throat. Sunset flip sees Balor roll out and slap Dragunov. Dragunov sent out and Balor with a baseball slide dropkick. Dragunov comes back with a chop and senton inside for a nearfall. Dragunov works Balor down in the corner. Dragunov hesitates on a dive and Balor hesitates, but Dragunov with a springboard clothesline. Standing elbow drop off the top sees Balor move away and Dragunov crashes to the floor. Dropkick from Balor inside and he starts to work Dragunov down. Slam and Balor stomps Dragunov down. Corner chop from Balor gets a nearfall and he puts in a headlock. Dragunov hits a suplex to create separation and a clothesline puts Balor down. Knee drop off the second rope gets a nearfall on Balor. Dragunov with chops the neck of Balor and a knee stops Balor’s counters for a nearfall. Balor gets off the shoulders of Dragunov for a double stomp. Forearms exchanged and Dragunov with an enzuigiri. Pele from Balor caught and they exchange signature move counters. Balor with Bloody Sunday for a nearfall. Dragunov with a bridging German suplex for a nearfall.

Dragunov with a 61-Line rebound clothesline and a dive off the top lands. Balor sent back in on the bottom rope and Dragunov with Coast-to-Coast for a nearfall. Balor bleeding from the nose and a senton off the top from Dragunov lands on the knees of Balor. Shotgun dropkick and Balor with Coup de Grace. 1916 follows.

Winner by pinfall: Finn Balor

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

This never really kicked into the gear these two are capable of, but it was a solid opener with a couple of near botches from Dragunov off the top rope. It didn’t really pick up as much in the end and there wasn’t any particular spot that really blew the crowd away. Still, a fine opener.

Cathy Kelley interviews Grizzled Young Veterans and The BroserWeights in the front row. Grizzled Young Veterans say they will be 2020 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic winners, while Dunne says he will be blunt when he says Matt Riddle will smoke the two of them Wednesday. Excellent promo here for both and Dunne and Riddle are playing with some Angle and Austin unlikely duo energy.

Fatal 4-Way match for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Angel Garza (c) vs. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs. “The Irish Ace” Jordan Devlin vs. “The Kiwi Buzzsaw” Travis Banks

 

Devlin wins gold. Photo: WWE.

 

Strikes exchanged and Garza with forearms for everyone. He begs off and tries to pull off his tights, but gets a triple superkick. Uranage and Scorpion Deathdrop combo from Devlin. Swerve with kicks and he rolls Banks for a nearfall and follows with a Flatliner on Devlin. Swerve with a dropkick on Garza to be the first one standing in the ring. Devlin sends him out and tries a moonsault, but gets caught by Swerve for a Death Valley Driver on the floor. Flip dive from Garza and Banks with a double stomp off the apron on Garza. Banks with chops outside on everyone. Banks with roundhouse kicks inside on Garza and Swerve. Banks with back elbows in the corners and a suicide dive back outside on Devlin. Devlin hit with a belly-to-belly suplex into Garza and Swerve in the corner. Devlin rebounds to a DDT on Scott and a Spanish Fly on Garza broken by Banks coming off the top. Garza takes out the field and lands a pop-up knee on Devlin that allows him to rip off the trunks. Garza with Banks in powerbomb position and Devlin in powerslam position. Scott comes off the top with a stomp to complete the Doomsday Device for a Garza nearfall.

Scott with a pop-up knee on Garza. Devlin breaks up a House Call from Swerve and headbutts Banks. Banks with a Canadian Destroyer on Devlin to counter the Devil Inside. Devlin and Swerve meet Garza up top. Devlin with a double super Spanish Fly. Banks hits Slice of Heaven and a Kiwi Crusher on Devlin for a nearfall. Banks and Scott left standing and they exchange chops. Swerve flips Banks up for a slam. Garza lands a Doomsday Device and gets Swerve for the Wing Clipper. Devlin headbutts Garza and lands Devil Inside on Scott as Garza just misses breaking up the pin.

Winner by pinfall and NEW NXT Cruiserweight Champion: Jordan Devlin

Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars

This was just about what you’d expect from an all-out cruiserweight match and the finish almost looking like a missed pin breakup just added to it. The crowd wasn’t really hot for the bigger spots, despite the frequency and unique moments they brought out for this. That was just about the only thing not clicking here.

Post-match, Devlin gets on the announce table and asks if the crowd believes him now. Devlin told them he is pound-for-pound the best on the planet. Devlin says he proved that you never bet against the “Ace.”

NXT North American Champion Keith Lee shown with Mia Yim ringside and Chelsea Green arrives ringside with Robert Stone.

Moustache Mountain vs. #DIY

 

DIY takes a break from the mayhem at Worlds Collide. Photo: WWE.

 

Tyler Bate starts with Johnny Gargano. Gargano with a wristlock and Bate struggles to free the arm from Gargano submissions. Gargano transitions to a side headlock and Bate fights up, headstands out of a hurricanrana, and starts to exchange counters with Gargano. Bate grabs the leg off a kick from Gargano, but gently puts it down to stalemate. They shake hands and decide to bring in Tommaso Ciampa and Trent Seven. They pose off and exchange a handshake. Ciampa with a shoulder tackle and Seven tries the hesitation DDT. Seven with a crucifix nearfall. Bate tags in and poses with Ciampa. Ciampa calls for a test of strength and raises it too high for Bate. They lock in and exchange monkey flips and pin attempts. Bate leapfrogs Ciampa and tries Bop and Bang, but Ciampa with a forearm and he clears Seven off the apron. Bate and Seven sent out and Moustache Mountain sent over the announce tables. DIY pat themselves on the back and isolate Bate inside. Ciampa stomps the taped left shoulder and locks in a side headlock. Bate fights up to get the hot tag to Seven and Seven with a DDT on Gargano. Ciampa hit with a powerbomb and Seven Star Lariat for a nearfall. Ciampa hits a knee on Seven and puts both down.

Bate and Gargano in and Gargano on the hot tag. Flatliner and DDT combo on Moustache Mountain lands. Bate sends Gargano to the apron, but runs into a slingshot spear that gets Gargano a nearfall. Seven slows Gargano with an ankle pick, but Ciampa takes him out. Suicide dive on Bate lands. Willow’s Bell from Ciampa and the slingshot DDT from Gargano get nearfalls. Kicks in the corner from #DIY. Gargano dives out on Seven, but Seven looks to have gotten the better of it with a suplex. Bate and Ciampa exchange and Bate with a rebound clothesline and Tyler Driver ’97. Gargano breaks it up. Seven chops Ciampa across the face, but Gargano superkicks him and breaks another pin. Gargan and Bate in the ring and Gargano rolls Bate for a nearfall. Gargano runs into an exploder suplex on Bate. Standing shooting star press lands on the knees of Gargano. Counter exchange sees Bate get the Airplane Spin. Gargano spins him to GargaNo Escape. Ciampa gets the armbar on Seven. Moustache Mountain prevent each other from tapping and hit double Airplane Spins. Pop-up lariat from Moustache Mountain gets a nearfall for Bate on Gargano.

Ciampa tags in and lands a knee on Bate. Seven covers Bate in the middle of the ring and they stop #DIY on Total Elimination for Bop and Bang. Birminghammer lands on Ciampa, but he is able to kick out. Seven holds Ciampa down and Bate goes for the corkscrew splash. Ciampa pulls Seven down on top of him to absorb the splash from Bate. Nearfall barely broken by Bate and all four down. They exchange strikes and Bate gets dropkicked out of midair and leaves Seven to take Meet in the Middle.

Winners by pinfall: #DIY

Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars

The beginning of the match was a little too cute, but I liked that Moustache Mountain literally patting themselves on the back brought an end to that section of the match. The rest of the match was as good as it gets for these two teams, with both getting hot tags to kick things into another gear. Had they started off a little hotter, we’d be talking about another classic for these teams.

Post-match, the two teams shake hands and hug it out.

(Commercials)

Mercedes Martinez and Dakota Kai shown ringside. Tegan Nox runs up and attacks Kai from behind. Nox tackles Kai through the barricade and they brawl at ringside before security gets the two apart.

Video package for the NXT Women’s Championship match. Bianca Belair shown ringside.

NXT Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Toni Storm

 

Ripley retains. Photo: WWE.

 

Ripley and Storm exchange wristlocks and Storm drops Ripley for a dropkick. Ripley chops Storm and Storm chops the back of Ripley. Ripley with ripcord clotheslines and a superkick to the chest. Storm superkicks out of the corner and Ripley hit with a German suplex on the second turnbuckle. Ripley favors her head and neck as she rolls outside and Storm brings her back in. Suplex nearfall for Storm and she works Ripley down. Ripley fights up and Storm drops her with elbows to the back of the neck for a nearfall. Ripley fights back up and they exchange strikes. Ripley with clotheslines to start her comeback. Dropkick on Storm and a jumping pump kick follows. Facebuster slam from Ripley. Standing cloverleaf in for Ripley. Storm fights her way to the bottom rope and back elbows away. Riptide blocked by a Storm crossbody for a nearfall. Storm Zero blocked and Ripley tries a Penalty Kick. Storm catches it for a German suplex for a nearfall. Ripley drops Storm, but runs into a headbutt from Storm. Storm goes up top and misses a frog splash. Riptide lands for Ripley.

Winner by pinfall and STILL NXT Women’s Champion: Rhea Ripley

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

This felt really flat. The crowd didn’t really seem to buy in to this, despite being relatively into Ripley, as they have been with most of the NXT talents. Storm didn’t have any moment that made it feel like she was going to win the title and it just never really got rolling, though being a decent enough match.

Post-match, Ripley stares down Bianca Belair at ringside.

(Commercials)

Video from backstage shows Johnny Gargano being attacked by Finn Balor during an interview and Tyler Bate making the save, prompting Balor to get in his face as the locker room kept the peace. Good build to TakeOver.

Video package recaps the rivalry between Undisputed Era and Imperium.

Undisputed Era vs. Imperium

 

The brands battle on. Photo: WWE.

 

Kyle O’Reilly starts with Fabian Aichner. Aichner with takedowns. O’Reilly looks for the leg and lands a leg kick. Aichner chops O’Reilly in the corner. O’Reilly comes back with forearms and kicks out of the corner. Powerslam from Aichner and Marcel Barthel in. Barthel with an uppercut and O’Reilly with a knee to bring in Roderick Strong. Strong gutbuster and O’Reilly with a knee drop for a nearfall. Barthel uppercuts and chops Strong into the corner to bring in Alexander Wolfe. Wolfe works Strong into the corner. Strong with forearms to bring in Bobby Fish for a double-team front suplex. Roundhouse kick from Fish looks to legitimately knock Wolfe out as it catches him on the chin and the referee checks him out. Wolfe gets taken out by officials to the back and is out of the match.

Walter and Adam Cole in and Cole avoids the strikes. Cole calls in Fish to cause a distraction and allow Cole to superkick the leg. Walter worked down and Strong comes in. Walter leapfrogs for a big boot. Aichner takes Strong down and works him back into the Imperium corner. Barthel in and Strong kicks away to bring in Cole. Cole kicks the knee as Barthel gets Strong up for a powerbomb. Cole works Barthel down. Barthel worked by roundhouse kicks from Fish and O’Reilly in the corner. Strong and Cole work Barthel down. O’Reilly in with a knee drop to the ribs and he lands a big boot on Walter on the apron. O’Reilly taunts Walter and it allows Barthel to recover for a side Russian legsweep. Walter in on the hot tag and he clears the ring down to O’Reilly. Walter catches a leg kick for a German suplex. Clothesline from O’Reilly and Walter chops him down. O’Reilly with a guillotine and Strong gets a tag, but Walter with a double German suplex on both.

Aichner and Barthel tag in for a jumping wheelbarrow DDT combo for a nearfall on O’Reilly. Barthel with a back elbow on O’Reilly for a nearfall. Aichner in with a kitchen sink on O’Reilly and O’Reilly worked in the Imperium corner. Walter with a senton on O’Reilly. O’Reilly turns into a Walter chop for a nearfall. O’Reilly flips out of an Aichner suplex and sweeps Walter on the apron. O’Reilly hit with double dropkicks, but he gets out of the corner for a hot tag to Strong. Barthel sent flying to the barricade outside and Strong with forearms and chops on Walter. Walter lands a clothesline to stop the rally. Powerbomb blocked by a Strong knee, but Aichner tags in. Tiger Bomb from Strong gets a nearfall and he turns it into a Strong Hold. Strong gets the tag to Fish, but Fish gets double-teamed by Aichner and Barthel. European Bomb stopped by Fish and Fish hits an exploder suplex on Aichner into Barthel in the corner. Cole in on the tag and Barthel counters him until Cole gets an enzuigiri. Ushigoroshi gets a nearfall on Barthel that is broken by Walter.

Walter cornered and swarmed by Fish, O’Reilly, and Strong. Walter tossed outside by Undisputed Era and they undo an announce table. Walter fights them off and gets Strong up for a powerbomb, but O’Reilly leg kicks stop it. Walter again strikes Undisputed Era down and undoes the Spanish announce table. Walter gets hit with leg kicks on it and Strong gets up there for an Olympic Slam through the English table. Back inside, O’Reilly goes after Barthel. Barthel hip tosses him off the top into an Aichner brainbuster. Barthel with an Olympic Slam. Cole superkicks Aichner out of the air and lands a kneecap brainbuster. Gutbuster from Strong and a shining wizard from Cole get a nearfall on Barthel. Barthel hit with a dragon screw on the ropes and O’Reilly with a knee drop onto the leg from the top. Heel hook in for O’Reilly. Barthel inches for the bottom rope. Aichner to the top rope and he lands a springboard moonsault to break the submission.

 

Imperium takes control. Photo: WWE.

 

Fish and Strong take Aichner outside. Walter returns to the apron and Barthel looks for the tag. Cole stops it, but Barthel with an enzuigiri. Walter with chops for all of Undisputed Era. Cole with a superkick and he gets Walter to a knee. Cole runs into a Walter chop. Powerbomb from Walter and a frog splash on Strong. Last Shot from Cole lands from behind, but the pin is broken by Imperium. Imperium and Undisputed Era go toe-to-toe. Fish and O’Reilly hit Total Elimination on Walter. Dive after dive outside leaves Fish and Walter inside. Fish misses a moonsault and catches a shotgun dropkick from Walter. Powerbomb from Walter.

Winners by pinfall: Imperium

Rating: 4.25 out of 5 stars

They recovered from an injury to Alexander Wolfe that could have really stalled the match and turned it into an all-star performance from Walter to rally his undermanned stable to the win. The moments were Walter had to come back from being taken out of the match by Undisputed Era were made even more impressive with the context.

Overall, a good show that was more a mixed bag than you can expect from the NXT brand. The crowd was really hot and cold and that might speak to how many people view NXT UK, as the only UK talent they were hot for was Walter. It was still an easy watch with nothing bad, which is a treat for the WWE product these days.

Nolan Howell can be reached at [email protected] for any questions or comments.